Thanks, all of you, for the well-wishing. I just needed some time and space to get my sh** together, and, tentatively, I have. A key factor in my deciding to return to the BBS so early was being cheered up (or at least in much better cheer than usual) by what is debatably the funniest Doctor Who audio story ever written, The Kingmaker. But I am also managing to write again, and I've also dipped my toe tentatively into the world of Dungeons and Dragons. A new hobby might help keep my brain busy when my writing skills fail me, hence my tentative look into Dungeons and Dragons.
Again, thank you all for your well-wishing.
Oh, and Conforumist? FauQ? I wish I'd thought of that!
Actually, someone's used it first, in a variation...
All you need to understand Is everything you know is wrong!
Well that was quick! Hope you continue to find support and encouragement for the writing - it's so important to be able to have a 'goof off' area so you can still write outside your usual comfort zone (or well within it as and when you need to ). If you're having trouble writing something - go write something different instead. If that fails go read something that fires you up - it all counts as writing activity
Actually pen and paper RP in D&D online setups was a major factor in my search for coping therapies for my own 'black dog' episodes and, as you've found, it really does help with the writing especially if you get into the original character development mode. It's the aspect of assembling playing personalities that, for me anyway, has been really wonderful for honing profiling and dialogue skills, especially when you're working outside your usual life experience parameter... My favourite character to write in the novel has been a mass murderer, with a challenge to write him sympathetically in tandem with the character of some of his victims surviving spouse/parent.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
Ahh Quatermass. I hope you get your groove back. When I thought I could write (I still can't write) I used to get constructive criticism from people I trusted who I thought read enough of similar material to understand it's gist. You probably don't need advice, though. Hope life starts getting good for you!